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Reference Point

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Newsday news nugget:

“The LIA [Long Island Association] has formed a Long Island Rail Transportation Task Force to work for improving the lot of the commuter.”

Good idea, right? There’s a lot to do.

The news item ran on June 4, 1979, in an issue of the newspaper reprinted Sunday as part of Newsday’s classic edition series.

Thirty-eight years later, the lot of the train commuter is still impervious to improvement.

Michael Dobie

Driving The Point

Where Uber drivers park online

Uber is getting ready for its Long Island premiere July 9, sending out texts and emails recruiting local drivers, and holding meetups this week at the Marriott in Uniondale and Radisson Hotel in Brentwood.

However, there are several weeks left for Nassau and Suffolk to opt out of ride-hailing services, so the counties aren’t rolling out the red carpet just yet.

But online, there is already a cohort waiting to step into the spotlight. A reddit-like chat thread called, an “independent community of rideshare drivers,” has been where Long Island’s Uber drivers have been coalescing.

The thread is a snapshot of the day-to-day driving reality here, a site where drivers interested in ride-share opportunities ask questions while drivers operating illegally with the app describe the lay of the land. In the past few months, the thread has morphed into warnings about local municipalities cracking down, with a few $700 fines mentioned in towns throughout Nassau and advice on how to get Uber to pay the first ticket.

Several users cited the Long Island forum as one of the most popular threads within the NYC category of the site, and there are warnings, self-serving or not, about a saturation of drivers already on Long Island.

Given that level of interest, perhaps Uber doesn't need to recruit here quite so hard.

Amanda Fiscina

Quick Points

Just sayin’...

  • Justice Neil Gorsuch’s first public remarks since joining the Supreme Court included his contention that in a properly functioning federal judicial system, the executive branch can lose in court and accept that judgment. Gorsuch did not say whether he thought our judicial system is functioning properly.
  • It turns out President Donald Trump’s federal infrastructure plan apparently involves having states, cities and corporations fund most of it. In other words, he has no federal infrastructure plan.
  • Surprised that the next prime minister of Ireland is the gay son of an Indian immigrant? Were you also surprised that Ireland was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote?
  • Thirty-eight years ago last weekend, 15,000 people protested in Shoreham against the uncompleted nuclear power plant. You hardly ever get that many people together in one place on Long Island anymore other than an Islanders game . . . Oops.
  • After the weekend terrorist attack in London, the city’s mayor told people not to be alarmed about a heightened police presence in the streets. President Donald Trump criticized the mayor for telling Londoners there’s no reason to be alarmed about the terror attack. Apparently, Trump doesn’t understand the British dialect of English.
  • Several surrogates of President Donald Trump say that he does indeed believe that the climate is changing. Just to clear up the confusion.
  • Name one thing the Democratic and Conservative parties have in common. Besides the fact that both endorsed Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini for district attorney.

Michael Dobie